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Completely rebuild a business customer area?

4 Findings from the B2B sales of Vorwerk Temial

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Vorwerk Temial GmbH is the youngest business unit within the Vorwerk Group. Our internal business formation primarily sells an innovative, digital tea maker along with a wide range of organic teas. It uses omnichannel marketing to acquire customers at tea parties, in the online shop, at Vorwerk stores and via B2B marketing. In my role as Head of Business Customers & Cooperations, I am responsible for ensuring that B2B/business customer potential is systematically addressed and exploited and for developing the B2B department. After a year in the role, I feel it is worthwhile reflecting on recent challenges and what we have learned from them. These are my four main recommendations on how to successfully develop our B2B operations:

1.

A solid network is all-important

Quality over quantity is the main thing here. I try to identify people who can act as multipliers and supporters, and regularly consult with them. Of course, I need to cultivate my contacts, and that includes impressing on them how much I value them and their input. The impression I make on others is key: I focus on projecting myself less as a salesman and more as a networker. In communications, I have found it useful to send clear (= unmistakable) messages and in the follow-up to a conversation, to keep promises I have made or ideally, to go one better. The important thing is to be authentic and to try to engage with contacts on a personal level so as to intensify the relationship (and by that increase their willingness to support you). My tip: Before a first meeting/phone call, visit the person’s XING/LinkedIn profile to learn about their hobbies, or anything you may have in common with them, so that you can pick up on those topics in the warm-up part of your conversation.

2.

Answer the question: What´s in it for me?

Or simply, WIIFM? The first contact should be used to make absolutely clear to your conversation partner what he or she stands to gain from the meeting, purchase or cooperation. Bear in mind that there’s no second chance for a first impression and focus on speaking their language and offering ways to meet their needs. My experience has shown me that an initial personal exchange is always a good idea for products that require explanation. Share your experience of the product and in your communication, make sure you always have an ace up your sleeve so that at the crucial moment, you can bring in more pros/convincing arguments.

3.

It’s really “Human 2 Human”!

Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Consumer (B2C)? In our modern, interconnected world and especially in relation to an omnichannel marketing approach, this is a question that no longer arises. A more apt description in its place would be “Human 2 Human.” This means taking an all-round and personal approach to potential business clients. An example: Using the LinkedIn or Facebook app as a private customer, I may still react to a car leasing ad I spot among the private posts if, as a businessman, I am currently considering modernizing my fleet. Tip: Think about where your touch points with your customers could be. The customer can be reached everywhere, anytime, so the challenge is merely to know his or her needs and based on them, to send the right messages.

4.

B2B as a multipler in omnichannel sales

It would be a mistake to think only in terms of existing structures and sales channels. It is also important to keep an eye on the big picture because B2B and B2C sales should ideally stimulate and complement each other. Every business customer is equally a private individual and can be a brand ambassador within his or her private circle. Hence my recommendation: Try to make your product “visible” with an eye-catching, user-oriented presence in a variety of settings. Examples of this for the Temial Tea Maker would be in upscale kitchen studios, show houses, design offices and interior design studios. B2B can also be used as a multiplier to maximize and in the best case, to create valuable B2B2C effects.